For more than a century, the Student’s Aid Society has been an important source of support for students. Since 1878, it has provided Wellesley students short- term emergency loans, financial support and gift vouchers for textbooks. It also manages the well-known and successful clothes closet. Members of the Wellesley community can donate clothing items to the closet and students in need of clothes can find a variety of warm and handy items in this space.
Up until last semester, the clothes closet had been located in the first floor of Green Hall, a few steps away from El Table. When the Student’s Aid Society moved to Schneider Hall in June of last year, however, the clothes closet was temporarily left behind due to the lack of space in Schneider.
An announcement on the Student’s Aid Society’s website states that due to lack of space, it is not currently receiving donations for the clothes closet, but it is discussing plans for the future of the closet. It is particularly inconvenient for the clothes closet to be unavailable to students in need during our snowiest winter on record. At this time of the year and with the series of storms the college has endured, students cannot get by without winter gear. Students who have clothes to donate have voiced their concern about the temporary absence of the closet. Undoubtedly, the unavailability of winter clothes poses a larger financial problem, as winter clothes are infamously expensive.
Campus renovations have been underway with the purpose of providing spaces that better serve Wellesley College’s community. It is unacceptable for renovations like Schneider’s to forget needs like the clothes closet. The clothes closet is a simple system that does not require a large or expensive room to function — it just needs a space.
The Consolidated Program Plan of Campus Renewal affirms that it considers the campus “the embodiment of a forward thinking college with a rich history and meaningful traditions, emphasizing both preservation and innovation.”
As the clothes closet has been a longtime, if unofficial, tradition of the Student’s Aid Society, space for the clothes closet should have been preserved in the new design for the Student’s Aid Society office. Moreover, when improving spaces, it only makes sense that the spaces become more useful, rather than bare of essential services.
As we create new and more sophisticated spaces, we cannot leave behind essential features of Wellesley, from unassuming clothes closets to multicultural spaces. The closet has an important place in a community that deeply cares about the well-being of its members.
The Wellesley News editorial staff urges future plans for campus renewal to take into consideration characteristic features of Wellesley’s current buildings. New spaces must be catered to not only administrative, but student needs. The editorial staff further hopes that the clothes closet comes alive again soon to continue its necessary function of keeping students warm and comfortable especially during this particularly cold time.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons